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The meaning of retirement – taking charge

Recently retired and admittedly a bit of a control freak, Peter Galvin has been thinking about retirement and what he wants it to be. He’s the author of the blog, ‘The Summerhouse Years’ and the recent survey by Skipton Building Society prompted him to pose the question, what will your retirement really be like?
  • Peter believes that our view of retirement is very much dependent on how we currently view our work life
  • He advocates focusing on the kind of retiree you want to be and stresses the importance of planning day-to-day activities
  • He believes understanding where you will get your self esteem from is just as important as financial planning
  • Peter believes that if you are active in organising your retirement so that your response is not reactive, the more in control you will be and more satisfied you will be.

Understanding your vision for retirement

From the ‘Meaning of Retirement’ research carried out by Skipton Building Society, the main point Peter took away was that the British public saw retirement as a positive experience; however he feels this is a little broadbrush.
In his blog, Peter explains that the extent to which you look forward to retirement is directly related to how you regard your current work situation, believing that if you don't enjoy your job, retirement looks very appealing. Someone who loves their job on the other hand, and has had a successful career, will find retirement a little slower and more daunting. To him, the meaning of retirement would be different for both camps.
Regardless of whether work is enjoyable or not, Peter is a firm believer that the enjoyment you get out of retirement is dependent on how well you plan for it and that, to achieve a happy retirement, we really do need to understand what retirement means to us and take charge of it.
One issue that is important to Peter is the effect of retirement on self-esteem.
Self-esteem is an absolutely key area in retirement, as of course it is throughout our lives. Your self-esteem can take a real hit when you retire. You need to a) recognise this and understand that it is both common and entirely understandable for some people and I count myself in this group, b) appreciate that you need to take steps, before you retire, to consider where your self-esteem will come from.
Find out more about Peter’s views on retirement and read the full article here.
Do you agree or disagree with Peter that your vision of retirement depends on how happy you are at work? Have you thought about ways to maintain your self-esteem? Share your thoughts with us below.
This article has been commissioned by retiresavvy and any opinions voiced are the author's own.


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